Monday, 19 November 2012

Ceasefire conditions - Israeli demand for 15-year truce unlikely to be accepted by Palestinians

The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth has published the conditions set out by negotiators for a ceasefire to end the current Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip. The newspaper said that a senior security official arrived in Cairo from Israel on Sunday to discuss the Israeli government's conditions with Egyptian officials.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli conditions are:
A lull for a period of more than 15 years.

An immediate end to arms smuggling and the transfer of weapons to Gaza.

A cessation of rocket fire on the part of all armed Palestinian factions and an end to attacks on soldiers near the Gaza border.

Israel to have the right to hunt down "terrorists" in the event of an attack or if it obtains information about an imminent attack.

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt to remain open, but the crossings on the Gaza-Israel border to stay closed.

Egypt's politicians, headed by President Mohamed Morsi, to be the guarantors of any ceasefire agreement, and not the Egyptian security establishment.
Palestinian negotiators have set the following conditions:
Israel to lift its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The international community to be the guarantor of the ceasefire.

A cessation of targeted killings by Israel.

An end to cross-border attacks by the Israeli forces against Palestinians in Gaza.

An end to attacks against fishermen off the Gaza coast.
Political analyst Mahmoud Sarsour said that he would be surprised if the Palestinians accept Israel's conditions for a truce. more

Israel’s explanation for killing two journalists in Gaza? Palestinians aren’t journalists, they’re ‘targets’

After a second Israeli attack on a media building in two days, this time killing two journalists, the spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, Mark Regev explains to al-Jazeera English that because the journalists were Palestinian the Israel military considered them legitimate "targets." Regev's remarks were made just a few hours after the November 19, 2012 bombing of al-Shuruq Tower and another building used to house the offices of several media outlets, including both Palestinian and international networks.

Speaking to al-Jazeera, Regev said, "We took out the target that we wanted to take out." When pressed by al-Jazeera over the injuries of eight journalists the previous day, where one lost his leg, Regev continued,
Oh you're talking about... oh first of all maybe we have a discussion about who is a journalist and if you'll allow me I will elaborate on this. There is the al-Aqsa station, which is a station that is a Hamas command and control facility, just as in other totalitarian regimes; the media is used by the regime for command and control and also for security purposes. From our point of view that's not a legitimate journalist.
Al-Jazeera's correspondent then followed-up by asking, "So what are you saying? That a local Arab journalist life is any less than an internationalist journalist?" Apparently for Regev, yes, in Gaza there are no legitimate Palestinian journalists, only targets. more

How the Israelis almost wiped out the Hijazi family

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes on the northern Gaza Strip killed a family of four on Monday, as Israel continued to bombard the coastal enclave for a sixth day, Ma'an's reporter said.

Foad Hijazi, Amna Hijazi and their two children Suhaib and Muhammad were killed when their home in Beit Lahiya was hit by an airstrike.

Twelve people were reported injured in the attack.

Four people, including a woman and child, were also injured in an airstrike on a civilian home in Rafah.

Earlier, Israeli airstrikes killed five Palestinians in Gaza refugee camps. more

Israel strikes Gaza refugee camps, 5 killed - death toll reaches 104

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes killed five Palestinians in Gaza refugee camps on Monday evening, including a man with physical disabilities, in the sixth day of Israel's war on Gaza.

Medics said the remains of Husam Shahadeh and his nephew Khalil Shahadeh were brought to Gaza hospital after Israeli shelling on al-Nuseirat camp.

Muhammad Zeidan, who is physically disabled, was killed in an airstrike on an agricultural area near al-Nuseirat.

A military strike on neighboring al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza killed Arkan Abu Kmayel and Ibrahim Al-Hawajri, medics said.

The Popular Resistance Committees' al-Nasser al-Salah al-Din brigades said they were both members of the group. more

Video: Settler in car runs over protester - the routine racist violence of colonialists

Activists have released a video from a protest on Route 60, which runs from Ramallah to Nablus. An Israeli car is seen running over an activist who protesters identified as Abdallah Abu Rahmeh.

Funeral takes place for 11 members of the Dallo family killed by Israel

Funerals were held for members of the Dallo family killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza City, in what was reported by Israeli media as "mistaken" strike. The Isreali army has since responded that the attack was intended and the it was aimed at the senior Hamas leader living in the same building as the Dallo family. [AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS] Al Jazeera Gaza Live Blog

Egypt foreign minister to visit Gaza on Tuesday

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's foreign minister will head to Gaza on Tuesday alongside a delegation of Arab ministers to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, following Israeli air strikes on the Palestinian territory, a spokesman for the ministry said.

Egypt is at the heart of efforts to broker a truce to end fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant groups.

"Mohamed Amr, foreign minister, will head to Gaza accompanying an Arab ministerial delegation to express solidarity with the brave Palestinian people who are subjected to Israeli aggression for the sixth day in a row," Amr Roshdy, spokesman for the ministry, said on Monday. more

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu to visit Gaza on Tuesday

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will pay a visit in Gaza alongside an Arab League delegation to extend support to territory amid Israel's attacks, Turkish diplomatic sources have said.

The delegation of Arab League foreign ministers headed by bloc's secretary general, Nabil Alaraby, will visit the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

In his talks in Cairo on Sunday, Davutoglu held separate meetings with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal as well as with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim. more

Israeli spokesperson admits to targeting journalists in Gaza

As is now widely known, in the early morning hours of 18 November during Israel’s continued escalation of its military assault on Gaza, the army targeted two buildings in Gaza City that housed international and Palestinian media outlets. The attacks left at least eight journalists injured. Twenty-year old cameraman Khader al-Zahhar had his right leg blown off when a rocket shot through the roof. At the time of writing, Israel has killed 72 Palestinians — 26 just today — since Wednesday, 14 November.

According to a press release today by the human rights organization Adalah:

“The Israeli army bombed Al-Shoroq Tower (or the “Journalists’ Tower”) in Gaza City. The 15-story building housed both local Arab and international media agencies such as Al Arabiya, Al Quds TV, Sky News, France 24, and Russia TV. Local media sources reported that eight journalists were injured in the initial attack. According to [Palestinian human rights group] Al-Mezan field reports, building occupants later received warnings about the Israeli army’s intent to demolish the entire building, and were told to evacuate.”

By the Israeli army’s own admission, they knew journalists were in the building at which they fired: “We obviously knew there were journalists in the building, so we did not attack other floors in the building. But my advice to journalists visiting Gaza is to stay away from any Hamas position, site or post for their own safety,” army spokesperson Avital Leibovich told the press today (BBC Middle East Bureau Chief Paul Danahar recorded her admission).

According to Protocol 1, Article 79 of the Geneva Convention, it is a war crime to target journalists. Furthermore, to suggest that anyone can “stay away from” anything at all during this relentless assault on tiny, sealed-off Gaza is patently absurd. But to instruct journalists to stay away from the conflict on which it is their job to report points to Israel’s reckless disregard for the public’s right to information and the journalist’s duty to provide it. Israel seems clearly bent on preventing information from getting out of Gaza. more

New airstrike kills 3 in central Gaza - new death toll 88

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Multiple airstrikes killed fourteen people and injured at least 70 as Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip entered its sixth day Monday, a Ma'an reporter said.

Israeli aircraft targeted a car in the central Gaza Strip on Monday morning, killing three people, eyewitnesses said. Tamer Bashir, Amin al-Bashir and Rashid Abu Amrah were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in was hit in Deir al-Balah.

Earlier, Muhammed Iyad Abu Zour, 4, Abu Zour, 19, Ahed Al-Qatati, 38, and Sahar Abu Zour were killed after airstrikes hit a house in the al-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

Muhammad Salameh Jundi, 31, was killed in the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood, Imad Abu Hamda, 30, was killed in al-Shati refugee camp, and Jalal Nasr, 35, died from wounds sustained in a strike on Jabaliya, north of Gaza.

An 18-month-old baby, Rama al-Shandi, was also reported killed in the strikes. more